Expectant mother strangled
By Imran Ayub
KARACHI: A seven-month pregnant woman was strangled on Thursday allegedly by her husband, who tried to cover up the crime but was finally caught and booked by the police, officials said.
The tragic incident came on record in the small hours of the day when 26-year-old Batool Zehra was brought dead to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre by the family, who disclosed nothing to the staff in the JPMC.
“Though they (family) denied a detailed autopsy of the body, an initial examination established strangulation as the cause of death,” said an official at the JPMC. “The woman was seven-month pregnant and definitely the premature baby also succumbed to the incident and it was too late to make any attempt to retrieve it.”
The incident remained unreported for the next few hours to the police authorities and it were calls from the JPMC and a charity organisation that handled the transportation of the body from home to the hospital and back, that set alarms bell ringing. A patrolling party of the Malir City police station visited the residence of the victim in Jaffar-i-Tayyar Housing Society, house 857, survey 416/3.
“At home we found that preparations for the funeral of the victim were almost complete,” said Sub-Inspector Hasan Haider, the SHO of the Malir City police station. “But we picked up her husband, Muhammad Ali, questioned him and finally came to know about the whole incident. The girl’s family was not duly informed about the incident and we approached them with the news.”
He said the family hailed from Gilgit and the couple had been living here for the past several years. The husband was a driver, he added.
“We have registered a case (FIR 112/2010) under Section 302 (premeditated murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code against the husband, Muhammad Ali, on a complaint of the victim’s maternal uncle Moosa, who was not aware of the whole tragedy,” added Sub-Inspector Haider, the SHO of the Malir City police station.
Married some nine years ago, the couple had a seven-year-old daughter and a one-and-a-half-year-old son. Though the investigators remained unable to determine the exact reason behind Muhammad Ali’s extreme step against his wife, they doubted the claim of his family.
“After the suspect’s arrest the whole episode unfolded. The family of the suspect approached the police station that he was mentally disturbed and that he did the crime under psychological stress,” added another official associated with the investigation section of the Malir City police station.
“But apparently we don’t see any such problem with the suspect, who seems fit both physically and mentally. Even if we trust what the family is saying, the way they tried to cover up the crime casts serious doubts over their claims.”
He said even the family of the deceased woman was not ready to believe such claims and they were willing to pursue the investigations.